The paint blisters and cracks. Curling, it pulls away from the wood and the flaky pieces dance in the gentle breeze blowing through the kitchen.
She watches, waiting for them to be torn away. When ripped from the wood, they’ll float through the air before settling on the tile floor below. The floor, where tiny, rust colored spots stain the grout.
She absently runs her hand over the finger-shaped hues of purples, reds and pinks on her arm. Slender trails of sickly yellow-green trace their edges. The most delicate spots feel as though her skin had been pulled thin, with nerves electrified at the surface. Glancing over one, she pulls her hand away and sucks her teeth as if it would soften the sting.
She blisters and cracks, curling herself into a ball on the floor. She pulls her attention to the tiles as she rocks gently back and forth.
The tiles will be her advocate. When the inevitable happens—when she no longer exists—it’ll be the tiles that seal his fate. Swabbing between them, they will find her. The bruises will become pieces to a puzzle where the final picture reveals the truth. Then they will know what her life had been. All that she had endured.
Blistering and cracking, she longs to be stronger. Curling into herself, she’s pulled deeper into despair knowing that she isn’t. She feels herself dancing closer to her death. Closer to the day he will kill her.
Until then she will continue to mop up the blood from busted lips and split cheeks, leaving just enough.